Thursday, March 27, 2008

Response to an agnostic's invtiation to debate Christianity

Harry Ironsides (1876-1951) responded as follows to Arthur Lewis' invitation to debate Agnosticism vs. Christianity:
"I accept on these conditions: First, that you promise to bring with you to the platform one man who was once an outcast, a slave to sinful habits, but who heard you or some other infidel lecture on agnosticism, was helped by it and cast away his sins and became a new man, and is today a respected member of society, all because of your unbelief.

"Second, that you agree to bring with you one woman who was once lost to all purity and goodness, but who can now testify that agnosticism came to her while deep in sin and implanted in her poor heart a hatred of impurity and a love of holiness, causing her to become chaste and upright, all through a disbelief in the Bible.

"Now, sir," Harry Ironsides continued, "if you will agree, I promise to be there with one hundred such men and women, once just such lost souls, who heard the gospel of the grace of God, believed it and have found new life and joy in Jesus Christ our Savior. Will you accept my terms?"

Arthur Lewis, the agnostic debater, could only walk away silently.
ht: http://www.devotional.com/

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

About Victory

"Thus the victory of Romans 8 is not our victory over the struggle with sin. Paul is describing Christ’s victory over sin in which we all now participate because of our union with him."

No Condemnation, Romans 8:1-11>>> (ht:riddleblog)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Betrayal Part II

A much better treatment of injustice than my Good Friday blog. (ht: considerablegrace.com)


The author's concluding remarks:

Our gospel marching orders are clear:

  • 1. Take up the cause of the afflicted.

  • 2. Seek the repentance of the oppressor.

  • 3. Seek justice without partiality.

  • 4. Rejoice always that Christ has defeated sin and all its entailments.

    The gospel of Jesus Christ answers all of our needs, beginning in this life and completely in the life to come.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter Through the Eyes of God

Interesting series here, enjoy:

Easter Through the Eyes of God, MP3 from John MacArthur (HT:Monergism.com)
Romans 3:24-31

Even the most glorious sunset, when gazed at long enough, will eventually lose its appeal. The scenery becomes so familiar that the senses grow dull to its vivid color and beauty. The scenery doesn't need changing—only your perspective.

Such is the case with Easter. Our modern eyes have gazed on the wonderful story for so long that we've lost our appreciation for its richness. What's worse, we've missed the real story—the forces at work behind the scenes that make the crucifixion and resurrection defining moments for all mankind.

In Easter Through the Eyes of God, John MacArthur approaches the Easter story from the unique perspective of God, Himself. How were God's purposes served by an angry, murderous mob? What was God's role in the suffering death of His own Son? Why is the resurrection of Jesus the hinge on which all of human history turns? This compelling study provides the answers. » Listen Online (M3u) » Subscribe to Podcast

USA Today: Is Sin Dead?

A good article from USA Today called Has the notion of sin been lost? interviews a wide range of preachers from Tim Keller and Mark Driscoll to Al Mohler and Michael Horton to Pope Benedict and Joel Osteen.

It ends with this definition of sin from Driscoll: "anything contrary to God's will. People assume the way they are is normal, not that something has gone terribly wrong, and this world is abnormal."
...Driscoll is sharply clear:
"Without an idea of sin, Easter is meaningless."

Friday, March 21, 2008

Sunday's Coming

Betrayal

When we hear about or read about a serious betrayal, maybe in the news or in a book, it's almost natural to identify with the one who is being betrayed. On Good Friday it's easy to connect betrayal only with Judas, the one who betrayed the Lord with a kiss, and to simply skim past the account of Peter's betrayal. Perhaps it is because we really do believe with Peter that we have such fortitude as to say: "Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death (Luke 22:33)."

In fact, we, along with all of the disciples, are betrayers of our bridegroom. Whether it is the pressure of this world that drives us to make boldfaced denials of Him when we should most be extolling Him, or when we deny the power of the Cross by refusing to forgive others or grant them even the smallest measures of grace.

When Jesus prays "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing," (Luke 23: 34), he speaks of us all, not just Judas and those other poor sinners/ taxcollectors/ idolaters/ adulterers. In many ways, we truly do not know the dark depths of what we've done or are doing. We are guilty of sin that we don't even know of (yet). The longer we are Christians, the more acute our awareness becomes of the sin that still permeates our thoughts and motives. Since our external acts might seem better than they were when we first received Christ, we may no longer partake of acts as serious and obvious as adultery. However, the knowledge of the gravity of our sin weighs heavier, as we understand how abhorant it is to God. One of a few things tend to result:
  • we become like the Pharisees and compare our walk with others in order to make ourselves feel better (temporarily),
  • we try to ignore the fact that sin still indwells our mortal bodies and believe we no longer have to deal with sin,
  • we drown ourselves in the pit of despair, focusing our gaze entirely upon ourselves and our sinful existence
  • or we put to death the deeds of the flesh by clinging to the cross and focusing our gaze only upon Jesus Christ.

As the Bride of Christ, the Church as a whole is being sanctified and prepared for the day we will see our Glorious Bridegroom face to face. We will know in full when we see Him how incredibly faithful He is and how amazingly gracious He has been to us every single minute of the day. Today is a day to remember the Gospel message, that Jesus Christ, the Faithful Covenant Keeping Bridegroom, shed His precious blood, by dying on a brutal roman cross, willingly, so that spiritual prostitutes like me and you might be reconciled to an infinitely Holy God, being made righteous, not by anything that we've said or done, but by turning from ourselves to trusting and resting in our Savior's finished work on the cross. To Him be all Glory and Honor and Praise Forever and Ever!


Sunday, March 2, 2008

Pause

I'm taking a break from blogging for a little while, in part because I've got several really good books hanging out on the dining room table that I really would like to get through. Also, and probably more importantly, there are some basic spiritual disciplines in my life that I've been neglecting a bit. So, by taking a break from the blogosphere, I hope to refocus more on God's Word and to get back into a routine with my devotionals and study. Not sure how long a break this will be. Hopefully, not too long.